A Companion of Fools Will Suffer Harm Through Compromise

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—Proverbs 13:20

Compromise may be helpful for some relationships, but it can hurt our spiritual journey. Bending God’s principles is risky.

For example, suppose a Christian man makes some new acquaintances, who don’t share his beliefs. Having grown up in the church, he has practically memorized Proverbs 13:20—“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—and recognizes the verse is meant to protect Christians from worldly influences. But he rationalizes that spending time here or there with these friends won’t hurt him. Eventually, however, he ends up spending more time with them than with believers and begins to question his own beliefs. Heeding that proverb might have helped him avoid drifting away from the heavenly Father.

To navigate such situations, we must look ahead for possible danger. Even choices that seem trivial can have far-reaching consequences. But the Lord equips us with a conscience and the Holy Spirit, who sounds an alarm if we veer into dangerous territory.

For us to hear these warnings, our heart must be tuned into God’s Spirit and Word. Relying on our own understanding can lead to trouble. But those who trust the Lord and apply His principles will find straight paths through potentially dangerous situations.

How Do You Handle Feelings of Anxiety?—Here’s The Answer.

What do people do with feelings of anxiety or fear? Aside from those who are medically diagnosed with anxiety disorders, fearful people tend to fuss and worry over potential scenarios and outcomes. They might rehearse the possibilities in their mind and take worries to bed, which keeps them tossing and turning all night. Or maybe they try to numb themselves with distractions, drugs or alcohol.

God wants us to bring our worries to Him—then He can calm our anxious burdens with His peace, which surpasses all comprehension (Phil. 4:6-7). And today we have advantages that weren’t available in the days of the Old Testament. Instead of waiting for a prophet to deliver a message from the Lord, we have the completed Scriptures, which are God’s revelation of Himself, His works, and His ways. Through His Word, we learn to know and understand the Lord and His plans so we can pray more confidently.

As we spend time in the Scriptures, we can increasingly see from God’s perspective. Then our prayers will be focused on what He wills rather than on what we want. Through this kind of prayer, our spiritual needs are met, and we can set aside anxiety to live in complete trust in the Lord.

Where Do You Go For Wisdom And Strength?

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.…Psalm 119:105-106

When you are faced with daily struggles, trials and tribulations, where do you go for the strength to see your way through? All of us at one time or another have faced problems in our daily living. How you’ve handled them is important.

As we’ve all discovered, trying to solve life’s issues can be difficult unless we have help and a direction from a reliable source. God’s word is that source. It contains wisdom and direction unmatched in any other resource. All of the self-help books in the world, when combined, still pale in comparison to the much needed guidance we receive from the bible.

God’s word, the holy bible, gives us all the direction and strength we will ever need to navigate our way through the problems we face during the day. Placing your faith and trust in God’s word is pivotal to allowing God’s power to work in your life.

If you desire success today in whatever you are doing and want to manage your problems with wisdom then read, study and know God’s word. It is the only source of help you will ever need.

Who Would Be Here To Tell Others?

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.—Ephesians 2:8-10

Why do you think God has left you here on earth instead of immediately taking you to heaven the moment you were saved? Think of all the hardships and heartaches you’d have escaped. Imagine the joys you’d be experiencing with Christ in heaven. But then again, who would be here to tell others the gospel of salvation if all the believers were taken out of this world?

If you are living and breathing, then the heavenly Father has a purpose for you, a ministry to fulfill. Don’t think of ministry as something done only in a church building by a select group of people. Service to God is the responsibility of every believer. It’s a matter of doing the “good works, which God prepared beforehand” for each of us to accomplish (Eph. 2:10).

Although the way we serve may change over time, we are never called to retire and do nothing. Even a bed-bound saint can pray for others or offer encouraging words to visitors and caregivers. A believer’s goal should not simply be to attend church, listen to a sermon, and receive enough spiritual food to get through the coming week. The goal is to serve God with our whole being, reflecting the love of Jesus through who we are. Our worship of God and instruction from His Word is what edifies and equips us to serve one another and go into the world to share the gospel.

Your entire life is meant to be an act of service to God. If instead you are living for your own happiness and goals, you will eventually be disappointed. But when you walk in the good works God has prepared for you, you’ll have the satisfaction of doing exactly what you were created to do.

(Reprint Courtesy of Charles Stanley | In Touch Ministries)

Looking for God’s promises? Some can be found in 1 Peter 1:3-9

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6

You’ve no doubt heard there are over 8,000 promises in the bible made by God. If you take the time to read 1 Peter 1:3-9 you will discover a few of those promises God made. Promises you can trust.

Some of God’s promises in 1 Peter 1:3-9 are:

1. God has caused us to be born again. How? By us having a living hope in Jesus’ resurrection.

2. We will obtain an inheritance that lasts forever, waiting for us in heaven.

3. We are protected by God through our faith.

4. We can greatly rejoice even in momentary trials.

5. Our faith is more precious than gold. We can offer praise, glory and honor at Jesus’ revelation.

6. Even though we’ve not seen Him, we love Him. Our belief in Him causes us to greatly rejoice with joy.

7. By having faith, we have the salvation of our souls.

God’s promises are real, dependable and trustworthy. We can read them in the bible and know in our hearts they are true and belong to us. Why? Because God said so. God’s word accomplishes what he wants it to as shown in the verse Isaiah 55:11 – “so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.”

If your faith is sound, solid and focused only on what God says, then you will receive His promises without fail. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.”

It doesn’t get any better than that.

God’s Word and Your Conscience

After David had numbered the troops, his conscience was stricken and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg You to take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”—2 Samuel 24:10

When programmed with the truth of God’s Word, the conscience has great value for a Christian. It detects deviations from the Lord’s standards and sends out a warning. The Holy Spirit uses that signal to get our attention. Then He will reveal what the problem is, give us understanding about it, and show us the right choices to make. He may guide us to friends, relevant Scripture verses, or other resources that can shed light on our situation and point out the implications of a wrong choice.

Failure to heed our inner alarm can bring serious consequences. Adam and Eve knew what God expected (Gen. 2:15-17). When tempted, however, they ignored their conscience and sinned against Him.

When your conscience sounds the alarm, do you stop and take notice or continue on the same course? Repeatedly ignoring your internal warning system can decrease its effectiveness at keeping you out of trouble. Ask God to help you program your inner alarm with His truth and sharpen your ability to hear it.

Practical Steps to Having Peace and Contentment

“…6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…”—Philippians 4:6-8

We all live in a fallen world that seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Mega disasters, floods, global warming, wars and more. If you follow the news about these events it can cause you to lose sleep or worse your peace and contentment.

What steps can you as a born again Christian take in order to prevent or minimize the loss of your peace? To begin, let’s look at what we’re dealing with in this arena of agony. As noted we live in this fallen world which is dominated by Satan and his minions. The bible describes him as a roaring lion roaming about, seeking who he can devour and destroy. Essentially, Satan is our enemy and must be dealt with as such.

Our battle with Satan occurs in the spiritual realm which requires us to fight with similar tactics and weapons. The weapons we use can be found in Ephesians 6:10-13 which says,  “10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

The specific pieces of armor mentioned in verse 13 above are described in the follow-on verses 14-17. The most effective weapon we have in our defense arsenal is the sword of the spirit better known as the Bible, God’s word.

If you spend as little as 15 minutes a day reading and studying God’s word then you will have a defensive shield about you that Satan can’t break through. God’s word is the truth and Satan hates that. When you know God’s word, what it says about things and situations, you can look clearly at them and know whether you are being deceived or seeing the truth. The ability to separate fact from fiction will give you the peace and contentment you desire.

The next time you are feeling uneasy about something or losing sleep over it, go to God in prayer and read His word about your situation. By doing that you can rest easy knowing God is in control.